How To Remove Rust From Tools

We all have rusty tools laying around somewhere. The question is, do you toss them or clean them? Most of the tools I had to contend with were my father’s so I didn’t want to toss them. He always told me “You never throw away tools!” So I had to find a way to remove the rust.

I am not a fan of harsh chemicals. I have a septic tank and that makes disposal of most chemicals difficult. I can’t even wash latex paintbrushes in my sink! The horror!

I chose to try out vinegar and I must say, it worked VERY well.

This is the pile I started with.

How To Remove Rust From Tools

That is one big rusty mess!

All you need to fix up this crew of rust offenders is

  • White distilled vinegar
  • Scrub brush or toothbrush you don’t plan on using again
  • Rags
  • Bucket
  • nitrile GLOVES
  • Dropcloth or something to protect your work surface. This gets messy.
  • WD-40
  • a mask so you don’t inhale the fumes
  • eye protection
  • a well-ventilated workspace

This was the magic in this whole experiment. One gallon of vinegar. Who woulda thought?!

How To Remove Rust From Tools

I just dumped all the tools in a bucket and poured the entire gallon in so it covered them all. If you only have a few rusty tools, you won’t need this much.

How To Remove Rust From Tools

After they sat for a day, the vinegar looked like this.

How To Remove Rust From Tools

Then it was time to get in all those nooks and crannies and really clean up these babies. After they were all cleaned, which took me an hour because I had so many, I dried them off thoroughly and coated them with WD-40. That helps keep them from rusting again. Don’t they look great?How To Remove Rust From Tools

Be sure to keep your freshened up tools in a dry place or store them with silica gel packs to absorb the moisture they do get. Storing them in a wooden toolbox also helps because the wood absorbs the moisture while a metal or plastic one won’t.

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How To Remove Rust From Tools